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Aging population and education finance

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  • Gradstein, Mark
  • Kaganovich, Michael

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that aging of population will increase political pressure to tilt the composition of social spending in favour of the elderly, while potentially sacrificing other publicly provided goods such as education. This view seems to be supported by recent empirical findings that per child public education spending tends to be lower in US jurisdictions with higher fraction of elderly residents. Do these cross-sectional findings also carry the dynamic implication that longevity will lead over time to waning political support for funding of public education? This Paper challenges such implication. We present a model that is consistent with the aforementioned cross-sectional regressions yet predicts an overall positive impact of increasing longevity on public education funding and economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2004)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2469-2485

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:88:y:2004:i:12:p:2469-2485

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Boadway, Robin W & Wildasin, David E, 1989. "A Median Voter Model of Social Security," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 307-28, May.
  3. Soares, Jorge, 2003. "Self-interest and public funding of education," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 703-727, March.
  4. Phillip Swagel & Efraim Sadka & Assaf Razin, 2002. "The Aging of the Population and the Size of the Welfare State," IMF Working Papers 02/68, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Browning, Edgar K, 1975. "Why the Social Insurance Budget Is Too Large in a Democracy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 373-88, September.
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  7. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Public Education," NBER Working Papers 5677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ladd, Helen F. & Murray, Sheila E., 2001. "Intergenerational conflict reconsidered: county demographic structure and the demand for public education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 343-357, August.
  9. Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen & Lee, Ronald, 2003. "Rising longevity, education, savings, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 83-101, February.
  10. Harrie Verbon & Marijn Verhoeven, 1992. "Decision making on pension schemes under rational expectations," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 71-97, February.
  11. Poterba, James M, 1998. "Demographic Change, Intergenerational Linkages, and Public Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 315-20, May.
  12. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Lovely, Mary E. & Tosun, Mehmet S., 2004. "Generational conflict, fiscal policy, and economic growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-23, March.
  13. Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1977. "Voting in a Local School Election: A Micro Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(1), pages 30-42, February.
  14. Harris, Amy Rehder & Evans, William N. & Schwab, Robert M., 2001. "Education spending in an aging America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 449-472, September.
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